Making the Most of Lectures and Seminars: Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something!
Task 1: How did I learn that? • Think of something you can do competently/well & write it down (eg: driving) • How did you become competent at it?
Typical Replies • Practice (ie repetition) • Trial and Error • Having a go • Experimenting
Deep vs Surface Learning • MARTON F and SÄLJÖ (1976) "On Qualitative Differences in Learning — 1: Outcome and Process" Brit. J. Educ. Psych. 46, 4-11 • MARTON F and SÄLJÖ (1976) "On Qualitative Differences in Learning — 2: Outcome as a function of the learner's conception of the task" Brit. J. Educ. Psych. 46, 115-27
Findings.. Students who adapt ‘deep’ approaches to learning were more likely to pass exams and do well than those who adopted surface approaches. SURFACE APPRROACHES ARE DISASTROUS!
Surface Approach Instrumental approach to learning Expect to be given information Information is simply memorised for reproduction – no reflection on what is studied An uphill struggle: fighting boredom/pressure Deep Approach Learning is important in itself Active in the learning process Understandinginformation – eg relates theoretical ideas to everyday experience Highly interested in course content Adapted from Atherton (2002) APPROACHES TO LEARNING
The Moral of the Story.. • Draw some conclusions from the above research and finish this phrase: • ‘Effective learners…’.
Effective Learners… AIM FOR UNDERSTANDING RATHER THAN MEMORISATION
Fill in the Percentages to complete the phrase ‘Most People Learn...’ • _________ of what they read • _________ of what they hear • _________ of what they see • _________ of what they see and hear • ________ of what they talk over with others • _________ of what they use and do in real life • ________ of what they teach someone else
‘Most People Learn...’ • 10%_________ of what they read • 20%_________ of what they hear • 30%_________ of what they see • 50%_________ of what they see and hear • 70%________ of what they talk over with others • 80%_________ of what they use and do in real life • 95%________ of what they teach someone else (Biggs, cited in Good Practice in Lecturing, n.d.)
The (Next) Moral of the Story.. BE ACTIVE!DO SOMETHING WITH WHAT YOU ARE LEARNING!
Group Task In the light of the theories on deep and surface learning, list the problems with lectures as an aid to learning.
Not learning by doing Little, if any, discussion Attention span – 20 mins Being ‘told’ information rather than student finding out for her/himself Problem with checking understanding Limited opportunities to ask questions Problems taking notes Problems with Lectures
Group Task What can be done to ensure ‘deep learning’ before, during and after a lecture?
Before ‘It is known that people are able to understand material more easily if they have some prior knowledge of the topic, or the information has particular interest or significance to them’ (Lashley and Best, 2001: 39)
Before Read notes from last lecture Do some background reading Think of 3 questions you think might be answered in the lecture Think of 3 questions you hope the lecturer will answer
During • Take notes – when and how do you take notes? (see Northedge, 1990: 67-68, 70) • Listen carefully and write down key words • Don’t passively write down everything you hear - be active, questioning, critical, selective • Use different note-taking systems e.g. linear notes or mind maps (Dunleavy http://www.iss.stthomas.edu/mapping/index.htm) • Identify the MAIN ARGUMENT(S) of the lecture • Learn to distinguish arguments from example)s
After ‘Many students experience learning difficulties not because they don’t understand the material in the first place, but because they fail to prevent forgetting afterwards’ (Lashley and Best, 2001: 41)
1st review – 10 mins after lecture (8-10 mins duration) 2nd review – 24 hours (4-5 mins duration) 3rd review – after a week (2-3 mins) (Lashley and Best, 2001: 41-2) Sum up lecture on a record sheet/post-it Create visual images of information Add to info/ideas presented in the lecture How does the lecture fit into the module as a whole? Discuss the lecture with other students Make a quiz out of the lecture & quiz others After
Believing any of the following will seriously damage your learning: • Lectures are places where information is transmitted to be ‘remembered’. • In good lectures the lecturer speaks, the audience takes very rapid notes and silence reigns. • The success of a lecture is all down to a lecturer. • A great lecturer speaks slowly so students can take beautifully written verbatim notes. • Everything you need to know to get a first class degree will be mentioned at the lecture (Hee hee!). Adapted from Donald and Kneale (2001, 6) and Northedge (1990)
Over to your Lecturers… My tips are based on my experience of being a bad student (and changing course) and a good student. What was the difference ? READING. Make a list of key points and look them up in recommended texts after the lecture. I don't think I ever bothered reading before a lecture...and it never mattered since we never had any seminars! But checking understanding and making full notes after the lecture saved a bundle of time and stress when assessment rolled around. And I did pester the hell out of tutors with questions. Liz Morrish (Linguistics) (NB Only pester tutors in the appropriate arenas i.e. during seminars (not lectures) and tutor office hours – Ed).
Seminars BE ACTIVE! • Prepare in advance • Check your understanding • Ask questions (even the most obvious) • Do not leave the room without speaking • Develop your listening skills • Review the lecture
Over to Aristotle… ‘What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing’.
Further Reading • Atherton, J.S. (2002) Learning and Teaching: Deep and Surface Learning [Online] http://www.staff.dmu.ac.uk/~jamesa/learning/deepsurf.htm Accessed 23/09/03 • Northedge, A. (1990) The Good Study Guide, Milton Keynes: Open University (NB: check out pp. 67-72 for discussion of lectures and note-taking). • Race, Phil (n.d.) ‘How Does Learning Happen Best?’ in Deliberations [Online] http://www.city.londonmet.ac.uk/deliberations/eff.learning/index.html Date Accessed: 05/10/04
Further Reading • Good Practice in Lecturing, (n.d.) [Online] http://www.effectivelecturing.scotcit.ac.uk/papers/report_no2.pdf Date Accessed: 04/10/04 http://www.learning.ox.ac.uk/iaul/IAUL+1+2+2+main.asp#Exploring%20deep%20and%20surface%20approaches%20to%20learning